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Cover of Where the Heart Is by Jennie Marsland
Released: September 2016
ISBN: 9781370634866
ASIN: B01IR7M546
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WHERE THE HEART IS
Series: Choices of the Heart, #1
Author: Jennie Marlsand
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Price: $3.99

When Rochelle McShannon moves with her father from Morgan County, Georgia to the Yorkshire Dales, she thinks she’s leaving behind everything that matters to her. Her mother has passed away, her twin brother is going west to avoid the looming Civil War, and her family’s unpopular views on slavery and secession have destroyed her relationship with the man she hoped to marry. If returning to her father's childhood home eases his grief, Chelle asks for nothing more.

Martin Rainnie understands grief. Since the loss of his wife in childbirth, he’s known little else, except anger. He’s retreated to his farm and turned his back on the world, including his baby daughter, who’s being fostered by Chelle’s relatives. With little Leah drawing them together, Martin begins to wonder if he can love again – and convince Chelle to do the same.

But the war overseas has far-reaching consequences, even in a small English village. Can Martin and Chelle overcome danger, loss, and bitterness to make a home where the heart is?

Excerpt
As she bent to set the lamb on its feet, a dog’s bark startled her. Still crouching, Chelle spun around and faced a grizzled black and white collie, standing a few feet away with its teeth bared and hackles raised. Luckily, the dog’s owner stood close by. Heart in her throat, Chelle released the lamb and slowly raised her gaze from a pair of heavy boots to eyes the color of a stormy sea.

“Come, Gyp.”

The dog returned to his master’s side at the curt command. Chelle stood, blushing under the man’s cool stare.

He’d be at least six feet tall, perhaps taller, bulky and solid. He reminded her of Charlie Bascomb at home, broad in the shoulders, thick in the legs and torso, but the resemblance stopped there. Charlie was quiet and easy-going, always wearing a smile, but there was nothing approachable about this man with his lowering brows, grim mouth and rust-colored hair. His resemblance to Leah told Chelle who he must be.

“Hello. I’m Rochelle McShannon. Are you Martin Rainnie?”

The collie stood braced beside his master, the fur still standing up on the back of his neck. Mr. Rainnie looked no more welcoming. He spoke to Chelle as curtly as he had to his dog. “Aye. What are you doing out here?”

It seemed Jean had done the man a favor by saying little about him. Chelle lifted her chin and showed him her bleeding hand. “That’s obvious enough, isn’t it? That lamb’s fleece was caught in this bush. I freed it.”

Mr. Rainnie looked her up and down with those cold gray-green eyes, then softened his tone and made an effort to curb his broad Yorkshire. Likely he’d recalled that his daughter was living with her family.

“So you’re Jack’s niece. I didn’t know you’d arrived yet.”

“We arrived yesterday.” Chelle fished a clean handkerchief from her skirt pocket and wrapped it around her scratched hand while she fumbled for something to say. “I’ve been out for a walk to the top of the hill. The view is lovely.”

Mr. Rainnie’s mouth twisted in a sardonic grin as he stepped closer. “Aye, but it’s not very sustaining. Not much but sheep will grow up here.”

Chelle took in his well-worn clothes and large, work-roughened hands. Martin Rainnie’s face showed the effects of wind and weather, but she thought the lines around his mouth and eyes revealed bitterness. With the breeze plucking at the sleeves of his faded canvas jacket, he seemed as much a part of the landscape as the sheep and the moorland grass, and just as rugged.

“The village down there, is that Carston? Dad mentioned it.”

“Aye, that’s Carston.”

“I thought as much. I was on my way home when I decided to follow this trail and heard the lamb.”

Mr. Rainnie shrugged and stuck his hands in his pockets. “You could have spared yourself the trouble. This is my flock, and I check on ‘em every day. You’d better get home and take care of those scratches.” With that, he strode past her toward the sheep, his dog at his heels.

Chelle watched him go, his shoulders high, his broad back stiff with annoyance. Because I rescued one of his silly sheep? She turned on her heel and started back toward the village, muttering under her breath. “I’m sorry for your daughter, Mr. Rainnie. As for me, the next time I find one of your animals in trouble, I’ll be leaving it alone.”

What the reviewers are saying
Heartwarming Read
Marsland has a knack for writing rich and deeply troubled characters, with full families in tow, that draw you in and you find yourself caring about them on a deeper level long after the novel is over. Well done Jennie, I look forward to the second instalment in this series. ~ Melanie Martin, Amazon

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Heartwarming Love Story!
Where The Heart Is, written by Jennie Marsland, is a romantic story filled with tenderness, hope and love! As soon as I started to read the first chapter, her story got me hooked and I could not put it down. A very touching story that really shows that dreams can come true! This heartwarming story of two beautiful souls, Martin and Chelle, is all about strong family ties in a small village. You will fall in love with her rich characters! . . . I strongly recommend this wonderful new series, Choices of the Heart, nicely written by this talented author, Jennie Marsland. ~ Nicole Laverdure, Books & Benches

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I always know I am in for a treat when Jennie Marsland has a new book coming out . . . I enjoyed the gently growing romance between Rochelle and Matthew. Their mutual love for Leah brings them together and becomes the glue to their budding friendship. There is a warmth and peace in Rochelle that Matthew desperately needs to heal his heart over losing his wife . . . I truly liked Matthew’s character. At first, I was not sure because he had abandoned his daughter and refused to spend time with her, but as I got to know his character, I could feel the pain he experienced over losing his wife. I liked that once he made up his mind that he loved Rochelle he did not give up until he won her heart. If you enjoy a romance with an interesting plot and great characters, then you will enjoy Where the Heart Is as much as I did. This book while set in England, and the characters are not lords and ladies, so it gave me a chance to see how the lower middle class lived. ~ Vikki, Vikki Vaught Reivews

 

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